3 Days in Copenhagen in June
The Danish have a word, Hygge, in their culture that is used as both a noun and a verb to describe a feeling or experience of being cosy or deeply enjoying life. If you want to travel and live in this state of full delight (for at least a little while), then you need to make your plans for a trip to Copenhagen now.
Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark and the most populated city of the country, is a hip and stylish destination for solo female travel. With a low crime rate and easy to navigate city, it is well worth getting to sooner rather than later and preferably in the month of June!
For one, it is the sunniest month of the year in Copenhagen and because of its geography the weather can be unpredictable, so the odds of daylight are great. For example, when I was getting ready to pack and reviewing the weather, it was scheduled to be in the mid to high 60's, but when I arrived it was in the 80's and not nearly a cloud in the sky my entire trip. It was a tremendous long weekend of weather.
Second, take note of Copenhagen's latitude (55.6761° N, 12.5683° E). What this means is that the sun rises at 4:30 in the morning and starts to set at 10 pm. Which translates to - its not completely dark until after 11 pm and doesn't stay dark for very long.
TIP: Pack a mask for sleeping at night if you want a good night's sleep - especially if your accommodation won't have black out curtains.
You will get very full days when visiting during this time of year. Also to consider, if you visit Copenhagen in the winter, you will experience the opposite, with a late morning sunrise around 9 am and the sun setting starting around 4 pm. So, June, right?!
Again, because of where it is geo located low pressure systems from the Atlantic can make temperatures and precipitation unreliable so you will need to pack for all cases of weather; chilly breezes, rain, hot sunshine... But have no fear! I provide a packing list with suggestions at the bottom of this post.
OK! So, now that you agree to travel in June, let's talk about how to go about your trip and what to do when you get there.
I can't suggest it enough. Scandinavia is expensive, especially the food. And if you want to enjoy the sights and your meals and not worry about your budget too much, staying at an affordable flat outside of the tourist areas helps you to not only become more intimate with the city and the way the locals live, but you may end up staying with folks who have a deep interest in helping you and giving you inside tips. For example, locals don't understand the hype about the Little Mermaid statue and may suggest skipping it. This frees up your time to see something else, perhaps more special in the city if your time in Copenhagen is tight.
I stayed in Valby which is either a 10 minute walk to the train, which took me everywhere I needed to go, or the bus stop which was literally right outside the front door of the flat. It was convenient if you don't mind a little bit extra walking and it was affordable relative to the rest of the costs of the city.
Also, my hostess, Pia was amazing. As soon as I arrived, she took immediate interest in my well being and fun and gave me incredible suggestions of where to go and how to use my time. For instance, I had no idea about the electronic music festival, Distortion, which takes place over the first weekend in June. Had she not told me about it I would have missed out on AMAZING music, and street culture in Copenhagen. This is how I quickly learned about the great style and attitude of the young people of the city.
In addition, we had a lot in common and had great discussions about following our dreams, yoga and dance. I believe I have found life long friends in her and Christine and already look forward to going back and spending more time with them.
As I briefly mentioned above, Distortion occurs during the week of the first Saturday of the month and is a celebration of Copenhagen street life and international club culture, bringing some of the illest DJs to bump some of the best jams. And with the unusually warm weather the vibe was extra electric. I won't try to prove it to you. I'll let the video do the work.
Check out the official trailer!
So you, see? Yet, another reason to check it out in June!
Now that I've had the chance to become more acquainted with Copenhagen I will say there is way more to this city than this canal, but admittedly the beautiful shots of the buildings on this waterfront are part of what drew my attention to this city. As a result, it's definitely a must do and needs to come next on the list.
There are tons of eateries and places to drink, be entertained or eat ice cream along the canal. It also leads to the square where you can do window browsing and shopping. This little video explains some of this famous canal origination. Oh, and of course, in the late 1800's Hans Christian Anderson lived here.
- Climb the Church of our Savior - The Spire
I mentioned earlier there are some things the locals don't think are all that special about seeing in their city, but visiting the Church of our Savior and climbing to the top to see the panoramic views of Copenhagen is something they do enjoy doing and you should too!
You will climb up 450 stairs that begin to get more and more narrow, sharing space with other tourists and the last 150 are outside of the building. You will be nearly 253 feet up, but the views are one of a kind.
Shopping, of course
Scandinavia is the mecca of H&M, which is headquartered in Sweden. So you will constantly find fashion from this retailer throughout the city, but locals definitely know how to make it uniquely their own. The street style here reminded me of the chic hipster; lots of black and print, and converse and man buns. It was all a terrific and inspiring sight.
While you can hit up the Fisketorvet - Copenhagen mall, which is located next to the bike snake there are many streets that will also offer great finds with wonderful designers. Here are a few:
Grab some beers (you can drink in public), a towel and your cute suit, and park it harbor side for some sun and fun. And you can watch people do some crazy jumps and dives into the crisp water.
Copenhagen does a tremendous job of maintaining and offering a number of green spaces and parks. In between all of your walking, grab some food, rest your feet, and set yourself up with a little picnic in any of the parks.
This was my first up close and personal experience with a set of swans. I never realized how large this stunning bird is and how clean they keep themselves. Fun fact: It is also the national bird of Denmark so you're likely to spot them frequently.
Parks worth the visit:
- Kings garden
- Tivoli (a number 1 recommended attraction in Copenhagen)
- City Park
The canals - take a boat tour
I showed some of the boat tour I took during my time in Copenhagen via video earlier in this post and it was worth every second. Not only was our tour guide super informative and sweet, but the views of all the sites from the water were brilliant; a perspective you'll never get to see if you stay on land. You'll get a little history lesson and be greeted by tons of day drinkers. It's a hoot, but also quite relaxing. A nice breezy break from all the walking.
Rent a bike, rent a boat, make friends with strangers, jump around, and see the sights!
Head to Meat Packing and check out Kødbyens Fiskebar,
or Pate Pate
Some of the best food I've ever had any where. Michellin recommended and winner of a 2013 design of the year award.
- This is not the place to have a spontaneous moment. Trust me! I tried it. Noma, voted the best restaurant in the world 2012, 2013, and 2014 requires a reservation 3 months in advance and sits on the channel in Christiantown. CONFIRM THIS IS TRUE. It may be worth dining in the most amazing restaurant with thoughtful design.
A stylish packing note -
Make sure you bring super comfortable sneakers. You will do a lot of walking and its worth it.
Nikes are great for being functional and fashionable. But if you don't need to worry about having the best shoe structure, go for Converse. They are a super popular brand in Copenhagen.
When in doubt wear lots of black. They are the chic hipsters of Scandinavia. Or prints. Since this is the home of H&M everyone is rocking fashions from there and it looks terrific. Now you have a great excuse to visit your local chain before you pack - wink and you're welcome.
I hope you have an amazing time in Copenhagen and it quickly becomes one of your favorite cities in the world.
Let me know how it goes!